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Old February 12th, 2010, 06:22 AM   #1
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Recording an organ recital

I am going to record an organ recital in a church next week and would like some advice/suggestions on mike placement. I will be using a large diaphragm M/S stereo mike and small diaphragm stereo pair. Any suggestions on mike placement? My thinking was to find the sweet spot in the church and place the M/S there and put the stereo pair closer to the pipe banks. BTW we will be the only people in the church. I have not done a site survey, so I am not sure if all the pipes are located in one area.

Found a picture of the church. I will have four tracks, or more available.

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Last edited by Jerry Jesion; February 12th, 2010 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Upload picture
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Old February 12th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #2
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That's a tough one. How good are the acoustics in the church? I'd probably do the opposite of what you are planning and put the large diaphragm closer to the pipes and use the small diaphragms to capture the room. I take it you are recording four track? You definitely want to keep it all separated.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #3
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You lucky dog! I love recording organs in big venues. Looks like it could be pretty "live" if all the walls are cinder block as shown in the photo. Of course the interior of the church is PART of the instrument, and organs are voiced for the spaces in which they are installed.

I agree with Mr. Leavitt on deployment of the LD vs. SD microphones. Try to get in as far in advance as possible so you have adequate time to "tune" the mic positions. Note that the mix of direct / ambient may be different depending the style of the music. Something big and bombastic can use more "room reverb", and something small and delicate may require closer miking to avoid sounding "muddy".

I would try to find an adjacent room to record from, and monitor with good speakers.

Hopefully, distance and/or time of day would eliminate or reduce traffic rumble. Low frequency noise is often a problem because recording pipe organs are one of the few instruments where you can't roll off the low frequencies to eliminate ambient noise.
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